Global Shifts and American Political Will as NATO Turns 70
In a difficult moment, NATO’s historical success, together with current operational advances, will once again see the alliance through.
On April 4, partners on both sides of the Atlantic will mark 70 years since the signing of the Washington Treaty and the founding of the NATO Alliance. What should be a momentous occasion to celebrate the stability and peace accompanying one of the most successful alliances in history will be clouded by a difficult political reality, one that has complicated cohesion across the transatlantic space.
For those who have studied the alliance’s history, much of today’s discussion will be familiar. It is a well-worn song whose current verses have been stuck in the heads of experts and officials alike since the end of the Cold War. From NATO’s strategic purpose to its capabilities gap, anyone remotely acquainted can hum along. But several discontents have grown sharper as the years have moved on. Today, discussions on burden-sharing and the role of the United States are particularly shrill.